Jeddah audience has high rate of engagement with fake websites, study finds

JEDDAH – A recent social experiment revealed high engagement with websites offering fake offers.

Sites have been created to test visitor behavior regarding requesting services and sharing their personal information.

The results of this social and outreach experiment showed that audiences in Jeddah have the highest engagements at 44.2%, followed by Riyadh at 36.6%, Dammam at 9.2%, then Medina and Makkah.

This experiment, which took place from June 29 to July 16, aimed to study the behavior of the audience in the face of false and enticing offers. Moreover, this study shows how careful the public is in protecting their personal information. The results of the study indicate that offers related to prizes and competitions received the highest visitor rate, with more than 71,000 visits.

The experiment was conducted by the Saudi Banks Media and Awareness Committee in cooperation with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones. As part of the experiment, the committee and Cybersecurity designed six digital websites, targeting different age groups and societal interests, in a way that takes participant privacy into account.

None of the information entered is recorded during the visitor’s journey, and a warning and awareness message has been displayed to protect the data before beginning the steps to complete the data sharing.

The committee’s experiments on the websites included presenting attractive offers targeting those interested in investments, scholarships, competitions, prizes, travel and tourism. The objective was to study the behavior of the targeted segments and their response to these offers as well as to show their level of awareness of the protection of their personal information in the digital world.

The experiment conducted was part of a mega fraud awareness campaign launched by the Saudi Banks Media and Awareness Committee in conjunction with the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity Programming and Drones, under the slogan (# be-careful).

The campaign targeted numerous digital and traditional channels to reach the targeted audience and raise awareness of fraud risks. It also aims to explore the most appropriate ways and methods that lead to fraud and ways to avoid them.

This mega campaign was a joint effort of many government and private entities to urge customers to protect their personal and banking information to avoid becoming victims of fraud.

The Saudi Banks Media and Awareness Committee is working through the #be_careful campaign to raise awareness of the fraud and the methods used. The campaign emphasizes the importance of always verifying the identity of the caller, not transferring any sums of money to unknown sources, not sharing personal information via social networks, verifying links and guaranteeing the accuracy and credibility of the sites, making sure to read the correct links from official sites, and not to publish anonymous links.

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